How To Do Embroidery On A Sewing Machine In 2 Steps

Last Updated on 3 months by Susan Mayrich

If you want to learn how to do embroidery on a sewing machine, consider two steps. We will discuss the proper way to prepare the fabric and how to set up the embroidery hoop. 

how to do embroidery on a sewing machine

Then, you’ll find out some tips and tricks in embroidering with a sewing machine. You can also read the tutorial on how to monogram a shirt with a sewing machine

Monogramming would be a perfect project for beginners because the designs are not as intricate as with embroidery. Nevertheless, do not be intimidated by embroidery because the sewing machine will make it easier. 


How To Embroider Using A Sewing Machine For Beginners


Step 1. Preparation and setup of the fabric and sewing machine

  • Transfer your design on the right side of the fabric
  • Cover the design with backing accordingly
  • Set the fabric to the embroidery hoop so that it’s the inner hoop, wrong side up of the material, and outer hoop
  • The right side of the material should be in the hole of the hoop and the design is in the center
  • Adjust the positioning of the hoop and work in sections if it’s not big enough for the design
  • Attach the free motion foot on the sewing machine 
  • Check the needle and replace it if needed
  • Thread the sewing machine accordingly
  • Set the sewing machine to straight stitch
  • Test the stitch length and width on scrap fabric to know what adjustments are needed
  • Set the sewing machine to zigzag stitch and test the length and width so you’ll know what settings to use when filling in the embroidery design


Step 2. Begin embroidering on the sewing machine

  • Lift the presser foot and needle to set up the fabric underneath the latter
  • Place the material under the needle right side up, and the needle should be touching the plate with the wrong side
  • Lower the foot and needle until the needle goes down and up with the bobbin thread
  • Push the thread away from the needle and underneath the presser foot
  • Lower the needle
  • Outline the embroidery design with a straight stitch and sew slowly as you maneuver the hoop under the needle
  • After you have the outline, set the sewing machine to the zigzag stitch and fill it slowly 
  • Once done, remove the backing and excess threads
  • Press on the wrong side of the fabric to finish


How Do You Freehand Embroidery On A Sewing Machine?

You can do freehand embroidery on a sewing machine, and it’s significantly more comfortable with the best sewing machine for embroidery. With freehand embroidery, you’re free to exercise your creativity since you’ll be using your hands to guide the fabric as you stitch the design. 

  1. Draw or transfer the design on the fabric 
  2. Use the proper interfacing to the material
  3. Thread the machine and bobbin with embroidery thread
  4. Set the fabric to the embroidery hoop so that it’s on top of the outer ring before you insert the inner ring
  5. Remove the presser foot and adapter
  6. Place the hooped fabric under the needle and attach a darning foot, which is ideal for freehand embroidery
  7. Lower the feed dogs and feet
  8. Set the sewing machine to straight stitch or wide zigzag stitch
  9. Hold the design by the rings and begin with anchoring stitches at 0 stitch width and length
  10. Move the hoop and stitch to fill the design 
  11. The hoop movement can be side to side, vertical, or horizontal, hence the name freehand embroidery 
  12. Adjust the sewing machine speed and hoop movement to control the stitch length
  13. Never cut the thread to start on another part
  14. Once done, check for areas that need restitching and cut off the loose threads 


What Stitch Do You Use For Embroidery?

  • Running stitch for outlining the embroidery design
  • Backstitch for outlining the embroidery design or making letters
  • Satin stitch for filling the design
  • Stem stitch for curved details
  • French knot for accentuating the design
  • Straight stitch in the sewing machine to outline the design
  • Zigzag stitch in the sewing machine to fill the design


What Do I Need To Embroider On My Machine?


Embroidery stabilizer

The tear-away stabilizer is perfect for non-stretchable materials, while the cut-away stabilizer is what you’ll use for stretchable fabrics or designs that would be densely stitched and prone to puckering. 


Embroidery hoop

Get the correct size hoop for the design and sewing machine. Some projects may even require a special hoop, such as those for hats. 


Embroidery needle and thread

Use the correct needle size and point for the material and project you’re doing. An embroidery thread will also be ideal because of the finish for the design. 


Embroidery scissors

Prepare a pair of embroidery scissors as well because they are small enough to cut jump stitches. You can also cleanly trim appliques with these special scissors. 


Embroidery remover

Prepare a stitch ripper or eraser in case you need to undo some mistakes. Learn how to remove sewing stitches properly. 



And that’s it! You just learned how to do embroidery on a sewing machine, which is as simple as setting the fabric to the hoop and then using the straight stitch to outline and zigzag stitch to fill the design on the sewing machine.

You can even let your creativity take hold of the design by freehand embroidery on the sewing machine. Remember to stitch slowly and practice the stitches on scrap fabric to know what length and width to use.


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